And what does this mean for most of us playing Fury?
I write this because some of these changes are great, but some only look great…but are actually a nerf.
The green text is copied direct from the official preview forum here where you can get the full change log/patch notes for the new mod.
- Animation times: Many animation times have been adjusted to be slightly faster when using multiple powers in a row.
- Power Overrides: Many powers, such as Warlock's Curse, now take full priority in being cast, even if you are attempting to use other powers - rather than being interrupted.
These changes are all positive. They include Tyrannical Curse among others making it a bit easier to cast.
Soul Puppet Changes
- Soul Puppet: Duration reduced to 20 seconds.
- This time only counts down while in combat
- Soul Puppet: No longer vanishes after 5 attacks
- Soul Puppet: Summoning another Soul Puppet will now refresh the duration of the current Soul Puppet and heal it to full.
- Soul Puppet: Now gains Critical Strike chance equal to your critical strike chance
- Soul Puppet: Now has a base critical severity rating of 50%
- Soul Puppet: Attacks can now critically strike
These are good changes. In the pre-Mod 15 state, the soul puppet is useless at higher levels. Meaning by the time you reach Level 70 the puppet has long outlived it’s usefulness. In Mod 15 this makes the puppet more useful. It changes more so for the Damnation tree but it affects Fury also.
When you kill a creature with Killing Flames you spawn a Soul Puppet. The puppet will not be a game changing addition, however it does become more useful.
Note: The Soul Puppet does not benefit from Combat Advantage! And as the note above states, it has a set Crit Severity of 50%. Not as exciting as you possibly thought, but it is an improvement.
Encounter Power Changes
- Killing Flames: Base damage increased by 20%
- Killing Flames: Damage based on life reduced to 2x damage when the target is at/below 25% life (from 2.4x)
This is a buff of exactly 7.8% but only under very specific circumstances. I’ll explain. If you were to hit a mob or boss or anything, once at 100% health with your wooden testing weapon, and then hit again at every percentage health value all the way to zero, you will see an average DPS increase of 7.8%.
This is the formula that calculates it:
MOD 14: Damage=(Base Damage)*(1+(((1-Mob health percentage)*100)*(1.4/75)))
MOD 15: Damage=(Base Damage*1.2)*(1+(((1-Mob health percentage)*100)*(1/75)))
Try it in a spreadsheet for your self, test every iteration of health, then average them.
The result = an average of 7.8% increase.
In real terms, you aren’t going to notice a difference. Your max damage is still 240%, there is no difference between Mod 14 maximums and Mod 15 maximums. Look at the simplified formulas:
Mod 14: Max Damage = Damage * 2.4 = 2.4 * Damage
Mod 15: Max Damage = Damage * 1.2 * 2 = 2.4 * Damage
When might you notice a difference? Where you have a mob or a boss with a very large health pool, such as Fangbreaker Island, Tomb of the Nine Gods or Castle Ravenloft.
In summary, it qualifies as a buff. Just.
- Fiery Bolt: No longer deals increased damage to enemies around the application target
- Fiery Bolt: Damage increased by ~20%
Well, this is a buff. But a bug fix that decreases the damage done to mobs by what was sometimes 300% effectiveness. Soooo, it… well, it’s a buff.
- Brood of Hadar: Fixed an issue where these would deal increased damage in certain cases.
Unfortunately this a nerf/fix that will reduce overall DPS output. It was a bug, but it was a nice bug. Brood of Hadar will continue to be the best single target Daily though.
I don’t use Dreadtheft, it is a clunky spell to use compared to Fiery Bolt and Killing Flames or even Arms of Hadar. However, I wanted to comment on the changes.
- Dreadtheft: Fixed an issue where Dreadtheft would deal 0 damage multiple times
This first point is a bug fix, it happened to me using Dreadtheft, maybe once.
- Dreadtheft: No longer allows you to sometimes activate other powers while casting
This second point is a nerf, you could cast your at-wills while channeling Dreadtheft. A bug that was beneficial. You could also do random things, such as pick up party members that had kicked the bucket. So it was a useful bug.
- Dreadtheft: Activating and cancelling this power should now be much more responsive
- Dreadtheft: Now allows you to override the last ~0.4 seconds of the animation.
These would be what is called a Quality of Life fix. It doesn’t make me want to use it, but for those that do, this makes it less clunky.
- Dreadtheft: Now deals damage 10 times (down from 12)
- Dreadtheft: Damage increased by 20%
This is the part you need to understand. Damage is increased but the number of times it deals damage is decreased. Overall, sadly this is a nerf. The numbers go like this:
Mod 14: Total Damage = Damage * 12 Ticks or 12 x Damage
Mod 15: Total Damage = Damage * 1.2 * 10 Ticks or 12 x Damage
So why does that make it a nerf if the result is the same?
Various effects proc off your damage ticks, for example, the fury capstone Creeping Death, will proc 10 times instead of 12, weapon enchants will proc 10 times instead of 12, etc.
This means a reduction in overall damage dealt. Therefore it’s a nerf.
- Hadar's Grasp: Damage increased by ~20%
- Hadar's Grasp: Base duration increased to 2 seconds (up from 1.5)
- Hadar's Grasp: Rank-up duration reduced to 0.5s (down from 1s)
- Hadar's Grasp (Curse Consume): Duration changed to be +1.5s (instead of +50%)
- Hadar's Grasp (Curse Consume): Curse and Soul Puppet damage increased to 25% (up from 15%)
- Immolation Spirits: Removed a 1-2 second delay that would cause the spirits to delay their initial attacks.
- Immolation Spirits: Fixed an issue where these would deal increased damage in certain cases.
- Curse Bite: This power now has 2 charges
I don’t personally use these so I am not commenting on them.
Class Feature Changes
- All-consuming Curse: Critical Strikes now apply lesser Curse 100% of the time (at rank 1)
- All-consuming Curse: Now increases Lesser Curse damage by 20%
- All-consuming Curse: Now increases Lesser Curse damage by 10% per rank
There is actually no change here. In Mod 14 at Rank 4, Crit Strikes applied Lesser Curse 100% of the time and Lesser Curse did 50% more damage. Exactly the same as Rank 4 in Mod 15. The only change is in the lower levels of All Consuming Curse.
- Murderous Flames: Now causes your fire-based single target at-will and encounter powers to deal 5/10/15/20/25% of their damage to all enemies (split equally) within 20 feet of the primary target. Does not trigger from DoT effects.
- Powers included: Killing Flames, Infernal Sphere, Hellish Rebuke, Soul Scorch, Eldritch Blast
This makes little difference to me as the only new power added that I use is Hellish Rebuke. However, it is a nerf. In Mod 14 it is 30% but only applies to Killing Flames. In Mod 15 it is now 25% and happens to include Hellish Rebuke as well. So I classify it as a minor nerf.
- Warding Spirits (reworked): Now causes 5/10/15/20/25% of the damage you take to be transferred to your Soul Puppet.
- Warding Spirits: Now increases your Soul Puppet's maximum life by 10/20/30/40/50% of your maximum life.
- Mocking Spirit: No longer increases the Maximum life of your Soul Puppet
- Mocking Spirit: The damage Resistance of your Soul Puppet is increased by 5/10/15/20/25%
- Spiritfire: This feat can now critically strike
- Spiritfire: This feat should now correctly scale with power / damage bonuses
- Spiritfire: Damage reduced to 5/10/15/20/25% (from 15/30/45/60/75%)
- Soul Desecration (Reworked): Your Soul Puppet no longer dissipates after 20 seconds and its attacks now recharge your encounter powers by 1 second on each hit. Your Warlock's Curse now corrupts targets, causing them to spawn a Soul Puppet when killed and when Warlock's Curse is Consumed. Soul Investiture now increase your encounter power damage by 10% per stack. Additionally, if you do not have a Soul Puppet active, you will automatically summon one. This effect has a 15 second cooldown.
Damnation has had some major buffs. It is now a playable paragon path for high level SWs that don’t feel like playing Fury or Temptation. However, it is not an endgame build for the SW.
Specifically, Soul Investuture. This gives you an extra 10% damage to your encounters per stack! Awesome! Right?......right?
Well, yeah. Here’s the thing about Soul Investiture stacks. They take a long time to build up, which means you don’t have them during trash mob fights and secondly, they don’t refresh and therefore expire. Meaning you have that 10% damage increase per stack for a short time, then have to build up your Investiture stacks again. Meanwhile, the boss has died and everyone has gone to loot the corpse. Including your Soul Puppet.
So while Damnation has had major buffing and reworking, it is still not an endgame ready build. It doesn’t mean you can’t run it and have fun though. It's amusing sitting there while your puppet wanders from mob to mob killing them for you.
Overall, this mod does have some good changes to the SW. Animation times, a reworked soul puppet and a couple of minor buffs. However, this is far from what was needed and wanted and doesn't bring the SW up to being the top tier DPS class we want it to be.